The bust of an alleged million-dollar auto theft ring will add to Wilkinson County's coffers this Saturday.
Former Middle Georgia repo man and wrecker service owner Tracey Michael Ford is doing time in the Spalding County Correctional Institution, but stolen vehicles found nearly three years ago on his properties around McIntyre will be auctioned Saturday in Macon.
In May of 2015, Ford was arrested and charged with theft by receiving 30 vehicles uncovered in Baldwin and Wilkinson counties.
"We just started running VIN numbers and everything he had was stolen," Capt. Brad King of the Baldwin County Sheriff's Office said at the time.
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Ford pleaded guilty and began his prison sentence in May of last year. Ford could stay locked up until 2024, according to the Georgia Department of Corrections.
Wednesday, King told The Telegraph his department has already sold several unclaimed vehicles and equipment through an online auction of abandoned property.
"You've got to keep in mind some of those vehicles were stolen years ago," King said. "Once insurance settles, the company becomes the victim."
Owners can't reclaim their vehicles if they have already been paid by the insurance company.
In some cases the owners could not be found.
Wilkinson County sheriff's office Chief Deputy Heath Bache said they have a number of unclaimed vehicles.
"Most of it, insurance had settled or the insurance company released it back to us, or they were never picked up," Bache said.
Now at least a half-dozen of those vehicles will be auctioned off Saturday beginning at 9 a.m. at T. Lynn Davis Realty and Auction Company at 4459 Broadway in Macon.
The company's sales manager Jim Davis said the vehicles include a 1968 Chevrolet Camaro and a 2012 Camaro, 2006 Ford Crew Cab Dually and a 1984 Volvo White 25 ton wrecker unit.
"Well over $100,000 worth," Davis said.
The auction also includes items seized by the Oconee County Drug Task Force and surplus items from Macon-Bibb County.
"We're going to sell it piece-by-piece," Davis said.
Items will be sold to the highest bidder no matter the price, he said.
Some of the vehicles linked to Ford were taken from the roadside.
Investigators speculated that he hitched them up to his wrecker and towed them away, but couldn't prove it.
"Whether he actually took the vehicles or if a third party took them, he never said," Bache said.
Before his arrest, sheriff's deputies would call on Ford to clear accidents or abandoned vehicles from the streets of Wilkinson County.
"He was actually a friend of mine, but you don't always know what people have going on," Bache said.
Proceeds from the auction will go into Wilkinson County's general fund, which could cover some of the cost of the two-year investigation, he said.
"I don't know if it will be as much as we spent."